". . . workers' incomes and/or job securities had been reduced over recent years by neo-liberal "reforms" identified as necessary for European "unity." So they worked more and took on debt. Their mounting stress strained family life and reduced civic participation. Such painful adjustments, as always, bred social tensions."
The point about reducing civic participation is an important one, as anyone will agree who is as appalled as me by the blatant disenfrachisment of the electorate in this country. I invest many hours staying as abreast of current affairs as I can but I am clearly an exception amongst my peers. If you've ever tried to discuss politics with your friends in the pub it is shocking how ignorant most of them are of issues I consider to be critical to the present and future wellbeing of our society (personal liberty, nuclear generation, Saudi-BAE scandal, faith schools, public transport, housing, etc etc.). Most people have an opinion on these issues but its generally poorly informed or an outright fantasy.